Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

Juggling September 19, 2021

This week felt a like a juggling act. I seem to say this every September and yet I continue to forget – September takes so much energy! It’s a lot of work. I thought without kicking off a new MOPS & MOMSnext year this fall, September would be less effort… less energy? I don’t know. Just less. But September 2021 chuckled at me and went on being just like the many Septembers before it.

We finally had our first four day school week and it made a huge difference. Getting into the school routine has taken more energy than I expected. Shocking, right?! I thought we would pick up were we left off on in May. Easy peasy. I didn’t account for how much we really slowed down over the summer. Graham being in kindergarten and using new curriculum has also taken more mental energy than I realized. Three weeks in, I am happy with the direction we are headed and I am hopeful that very soon we will be settled.

Hunting season for Jeremy means lots of single parenting for me. Jeremy’s alarm goes off at 4:30am and I do my best not to let it stir me. My mind doesn’t need to be awake and processing before dawn! Jeremy sometimes comes home in the afternoon for a short break before heading back out until after the boys’ bedtime. One of my highlights from the week was Jeremy falling asleep on Graham’s bed during afternoon quiet time. Graham also fell asleep and thought it was a dream come true to have a nap buddy (those were his literal words – dream come true). Our family routine is all thrown off, but it’s doable because it’s a season.

Our Friday adventure moved to Thursday because Friday was forecasted to be damp. I knew Jeremy would be out hunting so I invited my mom along for a hike at Lewis & Clark State Park. Let me tell you, I deeply appreciate Jeremy’s sense of direction. When I’m with him, I never worry about where I’m at or if I’ll be able to find my way back to our vehicle. I had a very specific trail I wanted to hike and it was embarrassing how long it took me to find it. I also had many moments on the trail where I hoped we were going the right way (and it was supposed to be a simple loop). We enjoyed hiking and exploring a new area, but I never had full confidence as we wandered the park. Being the co-pilot is a role I appreciate even more after trying to lead the way in unfamiliar territory. So thankful my mom came along as a second adult just in cause my worst-case scenario fears came true. I’m a big fan of the buddy system. Also, my mom carries bear spray, so that’s helpful, too!

On top of juggling school, Jeremy’s schedule, and extracurricular adventures, I had a conference to prepare for this weekend. Being real here, I have a complicated relationship with indoor church. I agreed to be a part of this conference at the beginning of July when COVID restrictions were loosening. Things have changed since I said yes. I’m not the type of person who backs of out a commitment easily, but I sure thought about changing my yes to a no. Ultimately, I decided to attend the full conference despite my discomfort. It was a lot of time in a mask (worshipping in a mask is possible, but a very sweaty experience) and I was in the minority for following current mandates. It’s uncomfortable being someone who noticeably stands out. Prepping for the conference while being on the hunting schedule was also challenging, but I felt prepared by the time Saturday’s workshop arrived. My class was small. Seven moms joined me to talk about finding time with God as a busy mom. The workshop had MOPS vibes so I felt in my element. Plus talking about how I love spending time with God and giving suggestions so others can connect with God was an awesome opportunity. I’m glad I followed through on my yes, despite the discomfort.

Side note: I’m thinking of turning my workshop into a mini-series here on the blog. As I was preparing my notes I realized that these suggestions for finding time with God could apply to anyone, not just busy moms. When busyness is a barrier, it’s good to go back to the basics and keep things simple. Stay tuned! I can’t let all those words I typed sit on my computer. I want to send them out!

Despite the juggling act and out of sync schedule, I still had what I needed to to get through this week. The boys begged Jeremy to take them out hunting on Friday which gave me a big window of quiet time to prepare for the conference and to be still before lots of activity. While church is complicated for me, I loved the moments of worshipping in a dark sanctuary. I’ve missed being surrounded by loud music, raising my hands, praising God with words that stir my soul. It was sweet to revisit a spiritual practice that means so much to me. Yes, I am tired after the big weekend… and yes, I still have another week of elk season left. But today I am happy to be home, to listen to praise music as I vacuum, and to know that nothing is pressing or urgent. God has been so good through all the juggling of this last week. He will continue to sustain me through September and that brings so much peace to my heart. I can do this!

The sweet life of homeschooling. Popcorn from a science experiment and Teddy close by while working on math.
Binge reading The InvestiGators. Owen kept asking to read more chapters even though school was done. I love when a good book grabs him!
Graham was so proud to read the first story in his reader all by himself! Love seeing my kids excited to read! My bookworm heart is thrilled!!!
Feeding the monster with his reading words
Hiking at Lewis & Clark State Park
Hiking at Lewis & Clark State Park
Always drawn to water!
Hiking Buddy!
Strangest or coolest find?!?! Giant rocking horses!
When Jeremy comes home the boys are literally all over him!
Documenting my workshop before the ladies arrive
Enjoyed a cookie decorating workshop on Saturday afternoon. I’ve never used royal icing before. It was fun to learn something new, but also to have the prep work done for me. All I had to do was play! And then eat!
 

Beginnings and Endings September 13, 2021

This last week was a big one even though at a glance it might have looked somewhat average. It was far from that, though! This week could be defined by beginnings and endings. Some things are just starting and somethings have come to a close. So let’s dive in!

I’ve been praying about a big decision that I finally went through with last Tuesday. I took time to talk it out with trusted people and I sat with my decision over Labor Day weekend to see it stuck. I’ve been a part of a team that supports women ministers in the Northwest Ministry Network. When I said yes to this commitment two years, I thought I was heading into the school-age years with my kids and I would have more time to pursue vocational ministry. But… I couldn’t predict a pandemic. Because we are homeschooling, I’m still home with my kids 24/7. Also, due to COVID conditions in my area, my in-person attendance at church is limited. I’ve loved being a part of this team because the women are incredible. I enjoyed getting to know them and I’ve been inspired by their leadership. But I’ve felt like the odd duck on the team. I am not actively pursuing vocational ministry. It’s just not the season of life that I am in. I would love to be a part of this team in the future when my season of life aligns better with the purpose of the team. I’ve been feeling the conflict between the life I thought I would be living right now and the one that I am actually living in this moment. It’s okay to say that this isn’t a good fit right now, but I hope it will be someday.

The other ending in my life has been a long time coming. I finally let go of my Usborne Books & More business. For the last year, I’ve kept the business active so I could receive discounts on my personal purchases. Now the cost of keeping the business active is no longer saving me money. I’ve been a UBAM book lady for 4.5 years and I’ve loved it! I loved introducing families to great books. Our home library exploded because of this business. It was such a blessing to my family. In the season of building our house, this book business gave me something to focus on in the waiting period. It was an important part of that building season for me. I’ve collected the last of my rewards and placed my final order as a consultant. It’s bittersweet, but I’ve known the end was around the corner for awhile. I will remain a loyal customer. I truly love this company and their products. Books are the best!

Endings can be sad and it felt weird to end two things in one week. I will admit that as my commitments continue to scale back, I’m often left wondering what is God is doing. For so long I’ve been defined by all the things I’ve been able to juggle. The pandemic has certainly made my world smaller. Instead of being worried or upset, I’m choosing to see this as a strategic time in my faith journey. Letting go of things isn’t in my nature, so I know that God is teaching me and guiding me. I’m trusting that he has a purpose in all the change.

Let’s focus on the the beginnings! It’s still the beginning of the school year. Somehow I always forget how much adjusting goes into the month of September. We are getting into our new school routine. It’s mostly gone well, but I’ve learned a few things the hard way. With Owen, I had him hit the ground running with school instead of easing him back into it. Our schedule will be lighter this week. We’ve been doing five days of work in three days for the last two weeks. This week we’ll do five days of curriculum in four days. The extra day should make a difference.

I’m happy to report that Graham is beginning to read! It hasn’t fully clicked, but he has made so much progress! I’m starting to feel more confident in the program we selected and in my ability to teach him. I’m so excited because learning to read is the beginning of beautiful things! Reading is such an adventure. I can’t wait for Graham to experience the joys of reading. We’re starting small, but we’re definitely making progress! Praise the Lord!

This week we met up with a few other homeschool families to launch rockets. We aren’t a part of a formal homeschool group, but a friend of mine hopes to facilitate a monthly outing or experience for homeschool families. The boys had a blast chasing rockets through the field with friends. We used bigger engines this time and that made our rocket even more impressive than when we launched it last fall.

Hunting season has also begun. Jeremy needed a new long sleeve camo shirt and while running errands, he picked up shirts for the boys, too. They got to join him for the evening hunt yesterday. Graham talked with me for a solid 10 minutes about his adventure when he got up this morning. The highlights were seeing the other family members out hunting. He also mentioned that he would be sad if they killed an elk. I’m guessing he is going to be a social outdoorsman verses a serious hunter (at least at this at this point in his life). Hunting season can be an intense season with early mornings, late nights, and a lot of single parenting. Since Jeremy took the boys out last night, I was able to work on my upcoming workshop I’m teaching next weekend. My parents also watched my boys for a few hours this weekend so I could prepare. I’m thankful for the extra support during hunting season.

That wraps up this week’s recap. Lots of big decisions, but also lots of fun. I’m glad the school year is underway and we are finding our groove again. September always takes way more energy than I expect, but it’s full of good things and important adjustments. I am learning a lot in this season and I’m keeping my eyes open for what God is doing in my right now, right here, ordinary life. It’s good and I’m grateful!

Network of Women Ministers Team Day – November 2019
We had so much fun with the freebies I earned through my book business – June 2017
Working my book business at a vendor event – June 2017
Cookies of the Month: September! Apple Season! My mom asked if I could make a treat for her to share with friends and I thought I would experiment with apples!
We ran errands to get rocket engines and a new camo shirt for Jeremy. I joked with Jeremy that we should get pumpkin spice doughnuts from Krispy Kreme and he was totally up for it. They got our order wrong, so Jeremy kindly went in to fix things. We got the correct dozen for free! Gotta love an unexpected surplus of treats!
Getting to launch our rocket
Blast off!
Rocket retrieval
Ready for hunting season to begin!
 

Back To School & So Much More September 6, 2021

Filed under: Family Time,Homeschool Adventures,Parenthood,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 1:23 pm

We are officially one week into the new school year! Praise the Lord – it went well! We did a homeschool preview day on Monday to go over our books and talk about expectations. Our schedule is very similar to last year, so the expectations part was fairly simple. Owen’s curriculum is a continuation of what we used last year. It felt like picking up where we left off. I really enjoyed the feeling of falling back into routine, but I will admit that I was exhausted after being in “teacher” mode again. I need to rebuild some stamina!

Graham’s reading program is new to me and it will be the thing that stretches Graham and me most this year. It took Owen about a month to learn to read in kindergarten. He was in public school at the time, so I just assisted with the reading homework that was sent home. After three days of school, it will come as no shock to anyone that Graham isn’t reading yet. His reading journey has only begun and until it clicks, I’m sure it will mean slow progress. I need to look at learning to read not as a pass/fail subject, but one that is built on daily progress. I can tell this will be the greatest challenge of this school year. Prayers appreciated for both Graham and myself!

One of the highlights of this last week was harvesting our little pumpkins. Jeremy had a great crop this year. I always love picking my favorites and placing them around the house to spread some festive, fall cheer. I had dinner with a friend this week as well. It was nice to catch up with her and chat about our busy lives. Since I don’t often leave my boys, they acted like I had returned from a week away instead of the actual three hours I was gone.

Fridays are a favorite family day for us. With Jeremy having the day off, we like to have family adventures. The bonus of homeschooling is that we can call these field trips. I love that learning can happen outside of the “classroom” (aka our dining room table) and without textbooks. Our first field trip of the school year was to Lattin’s Cider Mill and Farm. It had been over a year since we last visited so it was nice to reconnect with a well-loved location. We looked at the chickens, ducks, peacocks, rabbits, sheep, and goats. We picked up fresh apple fritters and a bag of apples from their store. It was a wonderful kick-off to school field trips.

Other than back to school, the big milestone of the week was Owen being baptized yesterday afternoon! Our church had it’s final outdoor gathering and wrapped up Summer Sundays with one last chance to be baptized in the river behind our church. Owen has been contemplating getting baptized for a while now and this seemed like the right opportunity. Owen was nervous, but brave. It was an honor for Jeremy and I to be the ones to baptize him. It was a little out of my comfort zone since I’m not a fan of water, but I’m glad I braved the cold water to participate. We are thankful that many family members were able to cheer him on as well as our church congregation. We had a taco lunch back at our house to celebrate afterwards. It was a very special day and a great way to wrap up our season of outside church. It’s such an honor and a joy as a parent to watch my kiddos grow in their faith. I’m so proud of Owen and the decision he made to get baptized!

It seems like September is always a busy month! Back to school is an adjustment after being in summer mode. Jeremy is excited for hunting season and has all kinds of plans to be out in the woods this month. I hope the weather stays nice so we can have many outdoor adventures. I even have an opportunity coming up to lead a workshop at a ladies conference at our church. Lots of good stuff ahead to prepare and plan for!

Graham’s first day of kindergarten!
Owen’s first day of 2nd grade!
One of the things I miss most about public school is school pictures. I borrowed my mom’s phone so I could use portrait mode and snap some school pictures myself!
Had so much fun with this mini photo shoot!
Scott Family Academy. Enrollment: 2.
When Buffy crashed the photo shoot…
The grass might be dead, but the pumpkins are vibrant! Our pumpkin harvest!
Gone for 3 hours and they both sat on me when I got home.
First fall field trip: Lattin’s Cider Mill and Farm
Fun with cousins at church!
Final outdoor church gathering
Celebrating Owen’s decision to get baptized
Thankful to be a part of moments like these!
I love the pops of fall color on my daily walks!
 

Summer Comes to an End August 29, 2021

Our final week of summer vacation has come and gone. It wasn’t full of big adventures like I thought it might possibly be. It turned out to be fairly quiet. Last Sunday, Jeremy tweaked his back and as a result, our final summer adventure was postpone. Late in the summer, Jeremy added a hike at Mt. Rainier onto our bucket list. We’d been waiting for the weather and our free time to line up. Unfortunately, that didn’t pan out this week. The quiet week wasn’t what I expected, but it was good in it’s own way. Time at home and quieter days are never a bummer in my book. The weather was also cool and cloudy which gave me all kinds of cozy, stay home vibes.

Around the house, Jeremy tidied up the yard after a playful summer. The pool came down since the weather is too cool to heat it now. Inside, I worked on lesson plans for our first quarter of school. I looked over our school books one more time to make sure I know what to expect next week. I’m feeling fairly confident heading into next week. For Owen, it feels like picking up where we left off in May. But for Graham, I feel very different vibes. I have to keep reminding myself that kindergarten shouldn’t be intimidating. We can do this!

We had a few smaller adventures this week. For the scavenger hunt we visited many local area parks. The boys got to see trains our local Napavine park twice this last week. Railfanning is always a highlight of our kids’ week. We went out to breakfast one morning at a favorite restaurant. On Friday, we had a movie and sleepover with the boys in our bedroom. We pulled their mattresses into our master bedroom and introduced them to Kung Fu Panda. We wanted to make one more end of summer memory. On Saturday, we went to a park and splash pad to celebrate a special 5th birthday with a cousin.

We finished swimming lessons on Thursday. The boys didn’t pass their levels this time, but we expected that. I was surprised that they were both a skill or two away from passing, though. I’m so proud of them for all their growth over the last four weeks. With another year of growth, they’ll be ready to tackle those levels next summer. I was so glad that swimming lessons were wrapping up. Or so I thought. Thursday night a weird feeling hit me. I was actually sad that lessons were over. It had been so fun to watch the boys learn from a teacher other than Jeremy and I. The pool wasn’t a typical classroom, but it had done my heart good to see them in a “class” with other kids. Swimming lessons just felt like a normal summer kid activity. The pandemic has changed so many things for our family and swimming lessons just felt so normal. It was hard to see that come to an end.

As I process school starting, the season changing, and a pandemic that continues on, I’m not 100% sure what to expect this fall. I am trusting that God will guide us each day. I can’t see the big picture and I don’t how this is all going to pan out. All I can do is live each day with an expectation that God is here and in each moment. I’m looking forward to getting back into our school routine. I’m looking forward to fall outings and traditions. These are some of my favorite family times and I’m ready to make new memories. Autumn holds a special place in my heart. There is such beauty in this season of change. I might be unsure about what lies ahead, but I’m ready to walk forward and find out next!

Graham and the skyscraper sunflowers
Sitting down to write out lesson plans for the fall
Fiddling with flowers for my August cookies!
Waffle Day for the Scavenger Hunt
Breakfast at Berry Field’s
A little front yard golfing
Stay-cation vibes hanging out on the front porch
My mom tagged along with the boys on a walk to retrieve Jeremy’s trail cameras from where he hunts. She sent me this picture from their adventure.
Sleepover and movie night!
Splash pad birthday party!
Park play!
Something we don’t see often – two trains at the same time at our train park!
 

Good-Bye July! August 3, 2021

Wow! July was such a fun month. One adventure after another! We made so many good memories. It’s hard to see such a fun month go, but here we are in August. There is a completely different vibe to August. We still have adventures in store, but August also carries that “summer is almost over” vibe. In July, I sorted all the kids clothes to see what still fits, what can become hand-me-downs, and what needs to be replaced. July was the time to get ready for school. Our homeschool materials have arrived and await use. July was prep mode, because August is go time! With how the calendar falls, we’ll be starting school at the end of August, instead of waiting for September. With the first day of school less than a month away, the countdown is on. Summer doesn’t last forever. We’ve made the most of our July and now it’s time for August to shine!

We wrapped up July with a couple of pool play dates. The boys love splashing around in the pool and hot tub with friends. It’s always a good time to catch up with mom friends on our back deck while we supervise the splash zone. Our family outing last week was to our local children’s museum. We were gifted a membership that has been slowly extended due to COVID-19 shutdowns. Our membership ends in a month, so we wanted to use it one last time. The museum was relatively quiet and we enjoyed some of our favorite activities – like the water table, the emergency vehicles, and the outdoor play space. After some bigger adventures, it was nice to have this one be local.

Now that August is here, our new routine involves swimming lessons. We started last night and we have seven more to go! We opted for an evening class so we could still be social (or restful) in the morning hours. Owen was a fish. He was super focused on the lesson. I was nervous about the gap between this year and his last lessons in 2019, but he surprised me with how well he did. Graham has grown in his water appreciation thanks to having a backyard pool, but you can tell that swimming lessons are pushing his comfort zone. He was so brave! For a kid who has been mostly home with his family, I know it’s a big deal to sit with a class of new kids and trust a new adult in the water.

July was a good one! One for the record books! Now that August is here, we’re ready for the last hurrah of summer. We’re going to make these August days count!

Cookies of the Month for July! I decided to use our camping/outdoor adventures as inspiration. This might be my new favorite way to appreciate the great outdoors!
The boys’ favorite part of the museum is the water table!
Our kids will play with trains any time, any place.
Having fun with the big bubbles Jeremy was so good at creating!
Firefighter Bros
Tailgating in Grandpa’s truck for church on Sunday
Saying hi to Papa!
Spray park fun before swimming lessons
The pool was too crowded to get a picture during lessons, so here is an after lessons victory shot! Also, look at that sky! So pretty!
 

End of the Year Celebration! May 22, 2021

We did it! We finished the 36th week of our homeschool curriculum! It’s crazy to finish so early when I’m used to preschool wrapping up at the end of May and elementary school in the middle of June. We only two weeks off of school for Christmas break, so it really made the school year fly by. In January, Graham started a kindergarten program that he’ll complete over the summer. We could have had his preschool graduation in January, but that felt weird, so we celebrated with an end of the school year and preschool graduation party. Owen will start summer school on Monday and Graham will continue his kindergarten program. The summer slide is a real thing. To avoid learning loss, we’ll do about 30 minutes of summer school a few days a week. My kids (and I) enjoy the Summer Brain Quest books. Graham did his summer between Pre-K and K book in December (haha!), but Owen is ready to kick off his Summer Brain Quest on Monday.

Thursday night was our end of the school year celebration and preschool graduation. I was looking forward to this party as much as the kids. I’m a big fan of celebrating – big things, small things, all things. If I can get themed partyware and put up decorations, I’m a happy camper. After we wrapped up school, we created a table to display the boys’ work. The grandparents got to “ooo” and “ahh” at what the kids have accomplished. We did dinner and dessert. The boys’ favorite food is Papa Murphy’s pizza. Owen picked chocolate cake for dessert and Graham selected cinnamon rolls. We got mini bottles of sparkling cider to add a festive flare. Jeremy helped me create a slideshow with pictures from our school adventures. We created a balloon garland and had some fun props for photos. Graham donned his cap and gown and we took pictures with Pomp and Circumstance playing in the background. We had a blast! It was the perfect way to wrap up the school year.

The good times kept coming on Friday morning when we went to a newly opened park in our city. The old park had been torn down and a new play structure replaced it. The park has been completed for over an year, but was fenced off due to COVID. Last week the fence came down and it’s been a happening place ever since. We figured Friday morning was a good time to go since most kiddos would be in school. The timing worked out well and we got to enjoy the park before it got too busy. The new playground is so cool. I have a feeling we will spend a lot of time there this summer!

I know I’ve said it a lot in the last few posts, but we are so excited for summer! Memorial Day weekend is sort of the unofficial start of summer. Once all the party goodies are eaten up, I plan on making some special cookies to munch on over the holiday weekend. I’m all for adding festive vibes with sweet treats. Jeremy and I continue to daydream about our backyard and how we plan on making it the place to be this summer. I get my second COVID vaccine this week, so it really does feel like change is right around the corner. I can’t wait to be fully vaccinated. I never thought I could be so excited about getting a shot. I’m ready to have this process behind me. I’m ready to move on. I’m ready for some summer fun!

Last Day of Preschool! Ready for Kindergarten!
Last Day of First Grade! Ready for Second Grade!
All official with the cap, gown, and diploma!
The boys loved the funny headbands and silly grad glasses!
Thankful for supportive grandparents who blessed our kiddos by helping us celebrate all the boys accomplished this year.
The balloon garland was an adventure to create and hang, but it was the perfect backdrop for all our party pictures!
Silly Kid!
Our new city park is so much fun!
 

The Smell of Sunscreen May 16, 2021

We’ve had a stretch of nice weather. We busted out the slip and slide, set up the swimming pool, and stained the play structure in the backyard. Summer is right around the corner and we are ready! The sunscreen has come out as our kiddos run wild around the yard. We’ve had more outside time than inside time. Everyone is sleeping soundly at night after full days of activity. This is just the start of the summery vibes with plenty more fun in the sun to come!

This last week Graham reached a childhood milestone. He had his kindergarten screening. I completely forgot about it. Good thing Jeremy remembered! We are leaning towards homeschooling again next year, but we want to keep all doors open at the moment. Even if we homeschool next year, it was good for Graham to go through the process. After so much time with just family, it’s important that he can follow directions and talk with adults who aren’t relatives. He told me he wasn’t nervous at all and He came home chattering away about the experience. I’m glad he wasn’t nervous, because I sure was! I didn’t know how he would respond after so much time at home. I’m so happy that it went well!

Another exciting milestone for our family is that the little chickens moved out of the garage this weekend and into their own enclosure. They aren’t old enough to join our big chickens yet, but they are now neighbors. Having the little chickens in the garage came with a certain odor. Pine shavings also frequently got walked into the house on the socks of my little chicken checkers. It’s nice to have the smell and the mess out of the garage. Owen is thrilled with how the chicks are doing. He is quiet the chicken whisperer.

We are about to start our 36th and final week of school. I am so excited to wrap up this homeschool year. We have fun plans – especially for Graham with a preschool graduation of sorts. I’ve always been curious about homeschooling, but I don’t think I would have ever gone this direction without the pandemic giving me a giant shove. We’ve had such a fantastic year. I am thankful for my kiddos who love to learn and who have made the most of our extra time at home. I am thankful for the friends and family who encouraged me through this process. This whole experience was a grand adventure – an unexpected blessing during strange times.

With school wrapping up soon and the sun shinning brightly outside my window, it’s easy to see why it feels like summer is almost here. The kids smell of sunscreen. Last night we had a wash off little feet that were dirty from running around barefoot on freshly mowed grass. Life is never perfect, but it is good. I am thankful for these moments, these memories around the house with my little family.

Sun’s out! S’mores Time!
Don’t let the focus-face fool you, Owen loves reading stats. I read The Tech-Wise Family this last week and Owen kept coming over to look at the stats.
Out of this World Cookies for May!
Such a cool sky earlier this week!
Found the Slip and Slide in the garage. We got it all cleaned up and ready for fun on a warm afternoon.
The Big Chickens got some new neighbors! Owen helped moved the Little Chickens out of the garage.
More water fun! Getting the pool set-up!
Graham was ready for a morning in the yard to help Daddy!
I helped Jeremy stain the play structure. Since outdoor projects aren’t usually my thing, I had to document that I helped!
The Chicken Whisperer. They literally come flocking to him!
It’s looking like summer in our backyard!
 

These May Days May 11, 2021

Our floor replacement project was supposed to start today. But… it’s been postponed. Our flooring situation feels like an epic saga (a never ending one at that). There was an internal miscommunication with the building company and now we’re looking at the end of May or beginning of June for this project to take place. As much as I want this project behind us, I’m okay with the pause. I wasn’t thrilled to homeschool around the flooring project. With only 1.5 weeks of school left, I’ll be glad to do this project after we wrap up school. We will have summer school, but the summer schedule is lighter. Postponing the flooring project fits better later. I guess a delay can be a blessing.

When my hubby asked me how I wanted to celebrate Mother’s Day, I originally thought the house would be torn up right after the weekend. I didn’t want a busy weekend on top of a crazy week. This year I opted for a quiet day at home to read and eat my favorite foods. We ran errands on Friday and then had dinner with my parents to celebrate my mom. Saturday was my quiet day. Sunday morning was restful around the house with the kids while Jeremy worked. Once Jeremy got home, we went over to celebrate with his mom. I enjoy the flow of celebrating Mother’s Day over the whole weekend. Instead of celebrating three moms in short burst of time, it allows us to have a laid back flow to the weekend. No need to rush. Expanding the time we celebrate allows our family to be in the moment and present. Maybe I won’t feel this way ever year, but a low-key Mother’s Day was perfect this year.

Without a major construction project in the immediate future, things around our house are business-as-usual. Homeschooling, reading, baking, walking, outside time, hot tub time… All the usual things. The weather has been nice so we have been outside everyday. The sunshine reminds me that summer is right around the corner. We had a chat with the kids this week about our summer bucket list. We’re starting to daydream about how to fill our summer days. We have a camping trip on the books. I hope to visit the zoo. The kids hope to go to the beach. We’re looking forward to more play dates and backyard hangouts. The boys and I will return to church on Sundays for outdoor gatherings. We are enjoying this slower-paced Spring, but we are also looking forward the promise of Summer!

Graham directed me on how to decorate this cake. He was also my sprinkler of the sprinkles. He was so proud of our team effort. It was a bit busy for me, but apparently the 5 year-old sees the world differently!
Our final MOPS & MOMSnext craft! I might add some ribbon for a finishing touch.
My favorite place to read is a loveseat in my bedroom. These two are always close by. Here you can see the pillow fort bedrooms that they created. The orange vest were used for the construction phase and then cast off for “bedtime.”
My Saturday Mother’s Day Plans: Reading, dinner of mac & cheese with brownie sundaes for dessert, and then movie night with my hubby. Perfect day!
Mother’s Day 2021 – Love being their mama!
Silly Bedtime snuggles
Our MOPS & MOMSnext group did a fun challenge to share a picture of yourself in middle school. Here is 8th grade Amy. Awesome bangs and braces!
 

Happy May Day! May 1, 2021

Welcome to May! I knew it was coming, but it still gave a little shock when I realized it was May 1st today. The month of April went by in a blink. I was looking back over pictures from this last month and it was humorous to see how our chicks dominated the monthly documentation. Yesterday, the boys helped Jeremy built a new chicken coop so that our chicks could move to roomier accommodations. Our kiddos have loved checking in on the chicks throughout the day. Owen is always ready to hold one. Graham has been brave and petted a few. Our chicks are looking more like chickens each week. Their feathers are coming in and they are growing. It’s amazing how quick the chick phase goes by.

I’m happy to report that I got my first dose of the COVID vaccine this week. Everyone I’ve talked with has responded so differently to the vaccine. I was nervous to see what side effects I would have. The biggest side effect for me was a sore arm. I didn’t expect it to hurt quite so much. In fact, I’m still waiting for my arm to feel normal, but it’s only been two days… so hopefully that is right around the corner. While I have felt a little “off”, like my body is processing something, I haven’t felt as bad as I expected. I hear round two is what really gets you. Despite the discomfort and continued nerves over the second dose, I am thankful that process is underway. With how quickly time flies, I know this will be behind me soon enough.

What’s on the horizon for May? New floors and wrapping up school are the two main things. I’m planning a little celebration for the end of the school year. I had fun ordering some party supplies. I’m also organizing the loose school papers into notebooks for easy storage. With Owen’s schoolwork, it’s recommended that we keep all his work for two years as proper documentation. Owen keeps pulling out this books and looking over all he has accomplished this year. I can tell he is proud of his hard work. It’s a satisfying feeling to be near the end and know that a celebration is right around the corner. The only thing that has me slightly concerned is our house will be torn a part and a construction zone when our floors are replaced. This will happen in our final weeks of school. It won’t derail us, but it will certainly be something we have to work around. Never a dull moment here, that’s for sure!

I thought the kids would like a soccer ball after playing with one last weekend. Turns out the box is more fun.
For MOPS & MOMSnext on Monday, we assembled fruit and yogurt parfaits and talked about the Enneagram. I was in my happy place! Also, I should have picked a bigger jar for my treat.
I have a baking buddy who has been posting recipes monthly in our MOPS & MOMSnext group. April’s recipe was a citrus berry shortcake. So yummy!
Endless chicken adoration
This week my hubby and I attended an online conference. We worked our homeschool/work schedules around it. The week was a bit of a jigsaw puzzle. Also, watching a conference with kids at home was… distracting. I am thankful for technology that allowed us to participate from home.
Dose one done!
The upgraded chicken coop!
May Day Flowers from my mama! She’s the sweetest!
 

The Home Stretch April 25, 2021

It feels like my life is in the “home stretch” on lots of levels right now! In the next month and a half, there is a lot to look forward to! I can feel that change is right around the corner. I’m deeply excited for these upcoming changes, but I’m also trying to stay in the moment and wait patiently. Honestly, to distract myself, I’ve been flying through novels this month. My next post will be all about the books that got me through this season of waiting. April has been a good book month.

What is right around the corner you might wonder? Well, first, we should have our floor replaced for (Lord willing) the final time either the 2nd or 3rd week in May. If you remember at the end of February we accepted and selected an upgrade. We are hopeful this upgraded product will hold up better and this will be the final fix! I can’t wait to see this new floor in place. I’m cautiously optimistic!

We will be wrapping up our 36th week of school on May 20th. I hope to have a small celebration for the boys to mark this accomplishment. Since Graham won’t get the same preschool graduation experience that Owen did, I ordered him a little cap and gown. I plan to do a little photoshoot with him to capture the memories. We’ve all accomplished so much this year and I’m proud of us – myself included. Learning a new role as homeschool mom had me nervous, but I’ve found a good groove and I’m enjoying it. It’s crazy to think we have just a few more weeks to go!

My ministry opportunities are about to shift as well. MOPS & MOMSnext will wrap up in the middle of June. I’m working hard to finish the year strong. Ending well is important to me. I am excited for all we have planned for our final meetings. I’ve been facilitating a Mastermind group that meets via Zoom monthly. I check-in with a small group of women ministers about life and ministry. This commitment will wrap up at the end of May. Our church gatherings plan to move outdoors in June. I’ve been watching church online and this move outdoors will be a good step forward. It feels like the right time to reconnect with my church family in-person.

The last thing is kind of big deal for me. I’m in the home stretch of waiting for my COVID vaccination. I have an appointment this week to get my first shot. My second shot (and the two week waiting period for the full efficacy) will be just in time for my return to church and hopefully the start of a somewhat-more-normal summer experience. I realize that the pandemic isn’t over and that precautions will still be necessary, but I looking forward to a little more peace of mind and a taking a step in the right direction.

I’m in the home stretch! Change is right around the corner! Until then… you’ll find me reading novels and passing the time as best I can with my little family.

The blossoms on this tree stopped me in my tracks this week. So pretty!!
Introducing the boys to minions with a special movie matinee at Grandpa & Grandma’s house. My space geeks loved the plan to steal the moon.
We’re not super sportsy, but I think we might have to invest in a soccer ball. The boys had a blast kicking the ball around my friend’s neighborhood while we took a walk.
This same neighborhood had a perfect spot to watch trains. My kids were in heaven.
Owen got pooped on to get this picture, but I’m sure he thought it was worth it. All 5 chicks sitting on him! He declared himself the Chicken King!